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CTA and UN join forces to highlight partnerships for sustainable small island development

Samoa’s private sector partnerships forum

August 29, 2014

In the context of 2014 as the "International year of Small Island Developing State" and the upcoming UN Conference on SIDS (1-4 September 2014) CTA is partnering with the UN-OHRLLS in the organisation of a Private Sector Partnerships Forum as a pre-UNSIDS Conference in Apia, Samoa on 30-31st August 2014. This forum aims to highlight new perspectives and give an overview of the main challenges and opportunities for sustainable partnerships to better strengthen small islands economies. It will cover six thematic areas, facilitate interaction, knowledge sharing and networking between senior business and government leaders to enhance private sector partnerships for SIDS. 

SIDS boatThe two day Private Sector Partnerships Forum will provide a platform upon which genuine and durable partnerships, that support the sustainable development of SIDS, can be announced and existing partnerships showcased or scaled up. In addition, the forum will raise awareness on economic challenges in SIDS, increase exchange of information, expertise on economic and trade resilience of small islands while facilitating networking among private sector development partners.  

Participants include policy-makers and representatives of EU Member States, civil society groups, research networks, development practitioners, and international organisations. Michael Hailu, CTA Director is also confirmed at the High level dialogue at the invitation of the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.  

The Small Island Developing State (SIDS) is a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. There are more than 50 million inhabitants of SIDS, 43 of them located in the Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Due to their small size, isolation and the fragility of island ecosystems, their renowned biological diversity is among the most threatened in the world. Currently the United Nations classifies 52 countries and territories as SIDS.  

According to the gross national income (GNI), 64 percent of SIDS are middle-income, 29 percent are high-income economies and 7 percent are classified as low-income countries. Moreover, the importance of the agricultural sector varies across countries. For example, in Papua New Guinea, agriculture contributed to 36 percent to GDP in 2012, whereas in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico this figure was only 2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Since 2011 CTA has been raising the profile of small island economies specificities in the policy agenda in the ACP-EU context during Brussels Briefing on ACP Small island economies: Moving from vulnerabilities to opportunities and in July 2014 on Building resilience of SIDS through trade and agribusiness development). This was followed by a series of regional briefings on climate change, green growth, agribusiness and trade. Moreover, the Centre developed an interesting partnership with the UN-OHRLLS (at the level of the Assistant Secretary-General) which continued with key activities in 2014: a high level panel at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2020 conference to mobilise the research community to invest more in SIDS economies.  

CTA has produced a small booklet on Building resilience in SIDS which will be distributed at the main conference and is available to download. The Centre is also working on some new partnerships to keep the ACP island economies high on the agenda and design transformative programmes.

You will find the programme of the two-day Private Sector Partnerships Forum online.

As CTA is covering the conference, you can follow us for more updates at: @ctaflash  #UNSIDS  #islands2014 www.blogs.cta.int